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Last fall I bought an e-mtb (Spesh Levo - hardtail 29'er). I bought it solely for the purposes of commuting to work through winter (in Alberta, you know, a place with real winters) . Note - For years I did the 32km commute under pure pedal power, but with a new-born baby and associated lack of sleep, it was just too fatiguing to spend 1hr+ each way in -25C + snow/ice, on top of an 8-10 hr workday. I'm a giant pussy, I know.
Anyways the e-bike (with studded tires) was great for that purpose (other than diminished battery life at -30C). Now until yesterday, the bike had never touched dirt (or even been ridden at all since winter ended - when the local landscape doesn't resemble an arctic wasteland I prefer to pedal to work under my own power).
Now yesterday I had taken the day off work to go riding. I had about 3-4 hrs to spare - normally I'll head out to my local trail system and crush a few pedal laps before heading home. Except.... it rained all night prior, and our local trails don't do well in the wet. Since I wasn't too keen to destroy the shit out of our precious loamers in those conditions, it was either ride some gravel roads/paths, or sit around at home. Since sitting at home was not an option, and riding gravel is normally boring as shit, I figured what-the-heck, why not try taking the e-bike out for her virgin taste of mountains? Given how moist things were, I targeted a loop involving 99% gravel roads/quad tracks.
And.... It was awesome! I did 46km (with 900m climbing), deep into the mountains, in 3.5 hrs! (including a 30 min lunch with beer). A loop that normally would have taken me 5-6+ hrs. And the best part is, it was fun as hell, even cruising uphill on a gravel road (something I normally find un-enjoyable) I had a shit-eating grin on my face the whole time!
Maybe e-bikes aren't so bad after all...
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